Many Doberman owners turn to crates as an effective means to housebreak their puppies.
Crates soon become a convenient bed for pups to sleep in and an escape haven when the world becomes too chaotic.
How do you figure out what size crate for a Doberman puppy?
A Doberman puppy needs careful fitting for a crate. The crate should only be large enough for your pet to stand up and turn around, especially during the toilet training months. Crate training entails a combination of gradual introductions, luring, and the establishment of consistent routines. While Doberman pups quickly learn to find a haven in their crates, they should not spend extended hours inside them.
Reasons to Use a Dog Crate
The top two reasons to use a pet crate are for transportation and as a training device.
Puppies crate-trained often look to their kennels for security even through adulthood. The following are the numerous ways you can use a crate for your Doberman puppy.
- Safe means to carry your puppy in a vehicle – veterinary visits, play dates, trips to the dog park
- House training – pet owners overwhelmingly use crates to aid their housebreaking efforts.
- Time-out zone for pets – gives them private time away from children and other pets, perhaps.
- Recovery – a great tool if your pet needs rest to heal after surgery or recuperate from an illness
- If you need to introduce another pet or want to keep your dog away from your guests, a crate is a convenient way to accomplish these goals.
- Teaches your puppy independence and how to entertain itself
What do you look for in a dog crate?
Most owners would agree that the essential features of a puppy crate are its safety, durability, and security.
When you pick a crate for your pup, it should have smooth sides with no sharp corners. Especially check for any tags inside plastic crates.
Sourcing is important because you do not want the leeching of toxic materials from the paint, metal, or plastic. Look at the door or hatch to ensure it does not have ends that poke out. Also, choose crates where the doors do not slam closed or become stuck.
Dobermans make rambunctious and strong large-breed puppies. You must select strong materials if you use an adult crate from the outset. Puppies chew continuously, and you do not want your crate torn to shreds or eaten. You also do not want a crate that will crumple, trap, or crush your puppy.
Take care with metal cages, notorious for causing injuries via entrapped toes or limbs. Suitable crate materials that are durable and easy to clean follow:
- Hard plastic – is excellent for young puppies because they are light and portable, but you should graduate to a wire crate
- Stainless steel
How to Measure Your Doberman for a Crate
Two philosophies will affect how you measure a crate or kennel for your Doberman pup. The first is to predict your puppy’s adult size and buy one crate accordingly.
An alternative is to buy a crate to fit your pup and replace it as your dog outgrows it. The former is more economical. However, since you do not want your puppy to have too much room, it requires implementing adjustments like dividers.
Although it may seem difficult to predict your puppy’s adult size at nine or ten weeks, you can err on the side of too large when considering kennels.
If you could see your puppy’s parents, you can use that information to estimate your dog’s potential adult size.
When mapping out your Dobie’s dimensions, remember that most references to height specify data about how tall a dog is at the shoulders. The average Doberman is 24 to 28 inches tall at the withers but 30 to 35 inches to the top of the head.
Dobies, like many other working dogs, are slightly longer than they are tall. You can expect a body length of about 40 to 46 inches from the nose to the tail.
You will often see the standard size for a Doberman crate listed as significant or precisely measuring 48 inches. The basic dimensions usually refer to the crate’s depth, but you also need to be concerned that it is tall enough for your dog to sit comfortably.
A large-breed cage often comes with a standard height of 32 inches which may not be enough for a Doberman.
Ideally, you want the kennel to be high enough to accommodate your dog when sitting.
If you think about it for a second, you can intuitively figure that a dog’s sitting height and length from the nose to the base of the tail are approximately the same.
Therefore, a Great Dane kennel might be more appropriate for your Doberman’s needs than many large cages.
Once you have chosen an adult crate for your puppy, your next step is categorizing it. Many indoor kennels come with dividers so you can adjust the size of your pup’s space. You can also expand it as your puppy grows.
If your crate does not have partitions, you can create one out of metal sheets, plywood, or plastic boards. Make sure the material you use has no sharp edges and will not fall atop your dog.
What is the best size if you want to measure a cage for your growing puppy?
Puppies need to be able to sit up in their crate, lay down, and turn around. They do not require any more than that, especially when you consider you are trying to housebreak your dog.
If the crate is too roomy for your pup, you may inadvertently train her to use an isolated corner in which to urinate or defecate. Measure your puppy as she stands.
Run your measuring tape from the tip of her nose to the end of her rump. Add three or four inches to the measurement you obtain. This is the length or depth of the kennel. Do not accommodate her tail, even if it is of total height.
To select a high enough kennel, measure your pup from the top of her head to the ground as she sits.
Make sure she is sitting square and not crouched or hunched. It is acceptable if the crate has an excessive height for your puppy.
How to Train your Doberman Puppy to Use a Crate
Getting your pup to use a crate is less about forcing her into it and more about teaching her what a positive experience it is.
If you crate train your dog correctly, she goes into her kennel periodically of her own accord.
When you start the process, it should resemble any other form of training. Use plenty of praise and rewards, and employ a lure until your pup gets the hang of what you expect.
Teach your pup to associate his crate with something enjoyable
It is relatively easy to make your Doberman start to look at his crate as a warm and comforting entity.
- Feed meals near the crate
- Give treats inside the crate.
- Have play sessions in the close vicinity of the crate
- In the beginning, leave the kennel door open so your puppy can go in and out at will
- Create a bed in the crate if your puppy likes to sleep on blankets – beware of any tendency your pup has to eat bedding
This video shows a training technique that combines treats and toys as incentives or lures to attract a puppy to the crate. This is a wire crate.
Introduce crate time for your Dobie gradually
Many owners expect crate training to be a quick process within a few hours. While a few Dobermans become crate-trained within a day or two, for most puppies, it is a process that takes a few days to a couple of weeks.
Your training will not progress if you do not have the patience to persevere with kindness and understanding.
Once you have allowed your pup to move freely in and out of the crate with the door secured open, start closing it for a few minutes.
Hopefully, you can open the crate and let your puppy back out before she starts whining. Repeat these steps several times during different periods of the day.
Gradually extend the time that you keep the door closed. Use the same gradual methods to put distance between yourself and your puppy.
Your eventual goal is to be able to leave your puppy in her crate while you go to a different room. Some owners keep their dog’s crate in their bedroom, so the pet never spends much time alone.
Establish a Routine
There comes a time when you must make use of crating your puppy. You may even want to establish a routine the first night your puppy returns.
A gradual approach may not have had time to play out by the time you are ready to retire for the night.
You can help introduce a pattern by performing certain rituals every time you place your dog in the crate and take her out.
Perhaps you give extra love or arrange the puppy with his favorite toy and speak soothingly as you close the door.
Regardless of where you want to keep the crate, we recommend temporarily placing the kennel with you.
Assure your puppy with your presence until his training has progressed to the point where he feels more confident and assured of spending a little time alone.
How long can you keep your Dobie puppy in a crate?
A well-trained Doberman adult can potentially stay kenneled for six to eight hours if she gets sufficient exercise. However, you should not leave your puppy for longer than three hours until she has undergone at least six months of acclimatation.
When your pup’s training begins, you should not leave your crated pup alone for longer than an hour.